Library filed under Energy Policy
Sponsored by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate File 125 would have required energy utilities to provide 95 percent of their electricity from a restricted list of energy sources by 2021 and 100 percent by 2022. The list included coal, oil and natural gas — the state’s primary economic engines — but notably omitted utility-scale wind and solar power. Under the bill, if a utility had chosen to invest in renewable energy sources, the state could have penalized the company with a fine for each megawatt of energy not produced from the sources deemed acceptable.
Expanded renewable energy law, long-term utility planning or targets set by the governor are all on the table.
In its latest $75.7bn strategic plan for 2020-24, Petrobras earmarks investment in R&D for renewables and decarbonisation of $70m a year ...By contrast, a year earlier in the 2019-23 plan Petrobras had earmarked $417m for renewables, including the development of offshore and onshore wind, and solar PV.
Renewable energy projects also have spawned large demonstrations. In Kahuku, more than 160 people were arrested last year after staging protests of AES Corp.’s Na Pua Makani wind farm – a project being developed on state agriculture land despite longstanding opposition by residents. Renewable energy projects on Maui and the Big Island have been hindered by litigation. And the pushback comes as Hawaiian Electric is really just getting started.
Locals questioned the reliability of renewable power, arguing it is propped up by subsidies and too untested to shoulder the demands of the electrical grid. Repeatedly, speakers portrayed a dark vision of a future where solar panels and wind turbines crowd Wyoming’s vistas and degrade its wildlife and where electricity prices rise even as rolling blackouts disrupt western cities.
“The industry estimates that, given that power demand is growing, an expansion (of onshore wind) by 5,000 MW per year is essential in order to reach the 65% target by 2030,” they said in a joint statement. Their data showed operators installed only 1,078 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity in 2019.
Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe, not least due to the costs arising from the launch of renewable energy sources – but many customers continue to support the country's energy transition regardless. While wholesale electricity prices on average have been in decline in recent years, surcharges, taxes, and grid fees raise the bill for Germany's private households and small businesses. However, market observers say that power costs are often not even high enough for customers to look for cheaper alternatives.
But while energy and capacity market prices can go up and down, REC prices in New York are currently fixed when developers bid for projects through NYSERDA, the state agency responsible for centralized procurement of RECs. The difference with the new order is that instead of staying fixed, the indexed REC price will go up or down, depending on the direction of prices in the energy and capacity markets, to ensure there's a consistent amount of revenue for developers and projects always get what they need, Katofsky explained.
An investigation is underway to find the root cause of the blaze, which occurred at Phong Dien 1 wind farm in the south-central province of Binh Thuan. The farm is owned by Vietnam Renewable Energy JSC (REVN), which has been forced to halt all other turbines at the project to serve the investigation.
A central fight surrounds whether the government considers climate change concerns when analyzing a project. Environmentalists want agencies to look more at "cumulative" or "indirect" impacts of projects. The Trump plan shuts the door on that. ...The American Wind Energy Association said NEPA rules have caused "unreasonable and unnecessary costs and long project delays" for land-based and offshore wind energy and transmission development.
Skeptics fear that the country is on a risky path. Sufficient renewable energy sources might not be available in time to compensate for the loss of fossil and nuclear power. Though renewables account for around 40 percent of Germany’s electricity supply, there are limits to further expansion ...In some rural parts of Germany, people are fed up with ever growing “wind parks”; more citizens are protesting new — and often taller — wind turbines in their neighborhoods. And there is growing resistance to the new paths needed to transport electricity from coasts to industrial centers.
“Overall, the renewables expansion is not sufficiently rapid to meet Germany’s generation targets for 2030,” Berlin-based Agora said in an annual analysis. The slower installation partly reflects delays to the planning and permissioning of onshore turbines applications because of objections to their construction. Disagreements over financing and general inertia by authorities have also slowed down related grid expansion to transport wind power north to south.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) has proposed a new answer to people complaining about wind farms in Germany: offering money to those willing to live near them. "Those people who accept windmills in their neighborhood, and so make the expansion of renewable energy possible, should be rewarded," SPD environment spokesman Matthias Miersch told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper.
About 900 new plants, most of which produce renewable energy, were proposed last year, compared with 300 in 2004, said Glenn McGrath, an analyst with the federal agency. “Regardless of where you go, there’s always some issues—whether it’s bats, whether it’s birds, whether it’s wealthy landowners who don’t want their view interrupted,” said Dan Shreve, wind-energy research director at consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. “As a consequence, you see these initiatives drag on forever.”
The long-awaited ruling, supported by Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Bernard McNamee, both Republicans, provoked howls of protest from renewables advocates ...The ruling builds on PJM’s “MOPR-Ex” proposal, filed in response to the commission’s June 2018 order finding the RTO’s capacity market rules unjust and unreasonable because they failed to address growing subsidies.
In an ironic twist, the rapid growth of solar power is one of the reasons energy regulators say it’s too soon to retire the four coastal gas plants. Growing amounts of California’s electricity are supplied by solar farms — sometimes 50% or more on spring afternoons, when sunshine is abundant and electricity demand is low. But all that solar generation drops off sharply each evening, at which point natural gas plants typically fire up to fill the gap.
The customers who were able to pop on a middle-of-the-night laundry load could have earned a renewables windfall of between 1p and 5p for every kWh of electricity they used, rather than spending double this rate to run appliances for only a few hours later.
Seven U.S. senators from New England on Monday urged ISO-NE to “return to the table with stakeholders” and more closely align its fuel security initiative with state policies seeking to speed the transition to renewable energy resources.
The refusal of all-renewable advocates to consider the cartoonish land requirements of their schemes and how those plans are affecting ordinary people in rural areas is perhaps the single biggest disconnect in the current energy debate. How cartoonish? Last year, two Harvard researchers found that meeting current U.S. electricity needs with wind would require covering a land area twice the size of California with wind turbines. That’s beyond Looney Tunes.
But the days when Germany was the largest market for wind turbines in Europe are over. Now there is a slowdown in the industry. In the first half of 2019, the expansion of wind power on land almost came to a standstill. Only about 150 wind turbines were newly built, about 80 percent less than last year.